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Competition is the Key to Excellence PDF Print E-mail
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Sales Skills & Training - Competing
Sales Gravy LogoFor a lot of salespeople the mere mention of a top competitor sends a chill up their spine. And for some, as soon as they learn that a feared competitor is in one of their accounts, they just give up.

This was what it was like a decade ago when Tiger Woods emerged on the golf scene. After his impressive first win at Augusta the rest of the pros went running for cover. In tournament after tournament Tiger was the presumed winner and before play even started many of the top pros simply surrendered. A decade later, Tiger is still the best player in golf. However, it is no longer a given that he will win most tournaments. Ten years after he stopped the world of golf in its tracks everyone has risen to a level where they can compete with him toe to toe and because of this professional golf as a whole has become better and even more competitive.

So here is a question for you? Does your competition strike fear in your heart or does it make you better?

In an interview this weekend United States presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was asked why, with no chance to win, he didn’t just drop out of the race. He replied, “Competition is the key to excellence, it makes us stronger. Lack of competition leads to mediocrity.

So maybe the secret is just changing the way you think about your competition. Instead of viewing a hated competitor as a road block or even worse an automatic check in the loss column, you should use competition to help you become a better salesperson. Instead of whining about all of the things your competitor has that you don’t, why not study them to find out how you can improve your offering and presentation. Perhaps by observing your competitors you will learn how to better penetrate accounts, build stronger relationships, get to decision makers, and offer more comprehensive solutions that really solve your customers’ problems. Perhaps by changing your attitude and beliefs about your competitors you will become stronger, faster, and more powerful. And pretty soon it will be you who strikes fear in the heart of others.

Three PowerPrinciples to Become Better Through Competition

 Know Your Competitors: The highest earning sales professionals are constantly improving. They relentlessly analyze and learn from every win and loss. They study every move their competitors make, learning their strengths and weaknesses. They take pride in knowing more about their competitors than their competitors know about themselves. 

People Buy You: In sales the most powerful weapon you have in your arsenal is you. Your competitive edge comes from understanding that your prospects and customers don’t buy your products, services, price, or sales collateral. They buy you. Develop stronger, deeper relationships and you competitors will fall to the wayside. 

Manage Your Beliefs: It is completely natural and human to become nervous when you must face a top competitor in one of your accounts. However, you must be aware that your customers can smell your fear. Here is the good news. Fear is just energy that when that energy is leveraged it can used to your advantage. When facing a top competitor relax and focus your energy on the key actions that you know will give you the win and to manage your self-talk. Tell yourself and keep telling yourself that you are winner and that you have everything it takes to win because it is what you believe about yourself that is often the difference between coming in second or crossing the finish line first.

Jeb

Jeb Blount is considered one of the world’s leading experts in sales and sales leadership. He is the author of PowerPrinciples, founder of the popular sales community, SalesGravy.com and has more than 20 years experience in Fortune 500 sales and marketing. As a business leader he has extensive experience turning around and righting troubled organizations. He has a passion for growing people and the unique ability to see potential in everyone. Over the span of his career he has coached, trained, and developed thousands of sales professionals, managers, and leaders.